INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION SLAMMED FOR CANCELLING PERU'S AMAZON VISIT

20 civil society organisations based in Peru, including Amnesty International, have criticised the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for cancelling at the last minute a visit to the northern Peruvian Amazon to meet indigenous communities affected by oil spills and other contamination resulting from oil operations. The 20 organisations stated that an appeal had been made to the IACHR because of the Peruvian government’s failure to address the issue, and that the cancellation was “counter-productive” and undermined indigenous organisations. ORPIAN-P, one such organisation, has issued its own, even more critical statement, describing the cancellation as “lamentable” and saying they had heard about it in an “unofficial way.” “We feel abandoned by the Commission,” stated ORPIAN-P, before requesting an official explanation and a rescheduling of the visit. Oil companies have operated in the northern Peruvian Amazon for over 40 years - with appalling social and environmental impacts on the indigenous peoples living there. (23-02-17)

David Hill